There are a lot of myths about starting your own business, and even more about working from home as a parent. One of which is that it’ll be easy to always spend time with your family and your business will just run itself.
While eventually you can set up a situation where that seems true, at first it might be a little tricky. If you go into it with your eyes wide open you’ll be able to create a business that works with your family situation. You really can have it all when you have your own business, but maybe not all at the same time. Just find a way to make it work, and you’ll be glad you did.
Whether you start a service based business or a product based business, working from home can be the answer to many of life’s problems associated with lack of work-life balance. You won’t have to miss parent teacher meetings, family night, game night or anything else ever again if you have everything in place and your spouse on board with your idea.
Here are some tips to help you run your business without jeopardizing time with your family and how to overcome obstacles that might arise.
- Rid Yourself of Guilt – One of the most important things you can do is let go of any type of guilt you have associated with working. There is nothing wrong with wanting to and needing to earn a living. It doesn’t matter if you start a business or work in a job, most of us have to work today and the children really will be alright.
- Be Realistic – Trying to work with a nursing baby can be hard in any circumstance. It’s best to schedule your work realistically around your family than it is to try to expect your family to accommodate you. There are times work has to come first, but if you set your schedule realistically you’ll find less times of having to juggle.
- Get Help When You Need It – Whether it’s an au pair, a nanny, a VA, or a house keeper, get help when you are able and when you need it. There is nothing wrong with putting your 2 year old in part time pre-school either. If you really want your business to succeed you will take the steps necessary to see that it does.
- Create a System – When you determine what you’ll be doing for a business from home, it’s good to create a system just like you would if you worked at a job. Have a system in place that helps you keep track of what you need to do each day in order to earn the income you want to earn.
- Schedule Everything – Use a good calendaring system to schedule everything including work and family time. If you want to have lunch with your girlfriends on Tuesday at 2pm for a couple of hours, you must schedule in that time including travel time. If you want to spend the morning with your daughter watching movies, schedule in. Date night with your husband, schedule it. Everything from cooking meals, to laundry, and all that you do – schedule it in and add in some extra time to make up for errors.
- Take Time for You – One of the most important parts of the happiness equation is to always take time for yourself. Just like you put the oxygen mask on yourself first in the airplane if something goes wrong you must take care of your needs before you take care of everyone else’s wants.
- Keep Your Focus – Avoiding shiny object syndrome is important when you work for yourself at home. It’s easy to get your mind turned onto the next big thing instead of focusing on the business you decided to start. Make it a practice to only devote about 5 percent of the time you’ve set aside for working on new ideas outside of your niche.
- Get the Family Involved – Having a home business can be hard on the family too sometimes. This is especially true when you spend long hours in front of your computer creating products and performing services. Your family wants to be involved. If they can’t help you directly with work, ask them to help with household duties. You can pay your children a larger allowance now that you are earning an income.